Howie Kurtz has a sane read on the phenomenon that has become the latest mob journalism craze: the GOP domination of DC lobbying firms by intimidation tactics.
On one level, Republicans aren’t doing anything different than the Democrats did when they ruled Congress. You try to use your clout to soak up the available sources of big corporate cash, and you try to strong-arm the trade associations to support your legislative needs. The lobbying firms, in turn, realize that they need to hire folks (often former officials) with high-level entree to the party that controls the Hill machinery, including such basics as which bills get brought to the floor.
But the Republicans have gotten really, really good at this.
Not surprising: The Republicans control, albeit narrowly, both Houses of Congress plus the presidency. And this is the age of amazing partisan discipline, a trend that was visible during the Reagan Administration, reached a level of art form under Clinton, and seems to have reached yet another level in 2002. Even though it’s currently working to my advantage, I’m not thrilled with all aspects of this process. But, as Kurtz notes, “That’s how it works, ladies and gentlemen. “